Caregiver Report | A feared aging crisis

The mental health of caregivers is compromised, they experience financial difficulties and half of them do not know the resources available to support them. This is what emerges from a national report on Canadian caregivers released Wednesday by the CCEA.

Entitled “Being a Caregiver in Canada: A Survey of Caregivers and Caregivers Across Canada,” the report from the Canadian Center of Excellence for Caregivers (CCEC) sounds the alarm regarding the aging population. He warns that the healthcare crisis facing the country will only get worse without concrete measures being put in place.

“The worst-case scenario is brewing: demand for care increases, caregivers age, the number of available caregivers decreases, and care needs become more complex due to the aging population and increasing rates of care. “disability and mental health problems,” the report reads.

“There is an urgent need to ensure that caregivers and care providers have the resources and services they need to meet their responsibilities. »

Half of Canadians will be caregivers in their lifetime. According to Statistics Canada, in 2022, 6.4 million Canadians provided unpaid care to care-dependent adults.

The CCEA defines caregivers as “family members, friends or others who provide unpaid support to a person with a physical, intellectual or developmental disability, health problem, mental illness or aging-related needs.” . Care providers provide the same types of care, but they are paid.

The report’s findings are based on a national survey on caregiving, involving more than 3,000 caregivers and care providers across the country, primarily from Ontario (38% of respondents) and Quebec (24% of respondents). respondents).

According to the CCEA, this survey fills some data gaps and some indicators are measured for the first time in Canada.

A worrying finding emerges from the survey concerning the mental health of caregivers in the country: a quarter of them indicate that their mental health is fair or poor. “The more time caregivers spend caring for others, the more tired, overwhelmed and depressed they become,” the report summarizes.

It also shows that being a caregiver is a source of financial stress. The survey results revealed that 37% experienced financial difficulties, 19% had to stop saving and 15% took on more debt, all due to their caring responsibilities.

The CCEA reports that half of caregivers are unaware of care-related tax credits and the vast majority believe an income tax credit or monthly care allowance would be helpful.

“Carers indicated that financial supports are the most important policy solution – across all aspects of support – to meet their needs,” the document reads. The CCEA wants measures to be taken to implement direct compensation for caregivers. He also argues that tax credits and tax benefits must be better known and their eligibility expanded.

The Canadian Press’ health content receives funding through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The Canadian Press is solely responsible for editorial choices.


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